Community will have the chance to ‘walk in their shoes’

D-Day’s significance, according to Jeff Campbell, is more important than just a one-day celebration. There were many facets to the war effort, and he says he wants to represent them the best he can.

“We, as the ‘A Walk in Their Boots’ committee wanted to have a local event that paid tribute to the men and women of the Northeast Tennessee region and recognize the service and sacrifice of what is often referred to as our ‘Greatest Generation,’” Campbell said.

This “living history” event will take place at Sycamore Shoals State Park the first weekend of September. It will feature dozens of displays of memorabilia, stories, photos and more.

The event will also serve as a way to exchange stories of the various ways local communities took part in the war effort, including Milligan College, the Cadet Nurse Corps, the Bemberg Plant,  Women in Aviation and much more.

“Unlike other reenactments, this is a more of a living history,” Campbell said.

He said this community involvement includes those in attendance during the event itself.

“Our goal is to have the public participate in our event, displaying personal memorabilia and honoring their family’s WWII veteran,” he said.

He said part of his energy towards forming this event was his recent participation in the official D-Day reenactment during its 75th anniversary celebration in France. Campbell got to participate in the reenactment.

“I hope with this event we can share some of that same feeling of ‘Walking in the Boots’ of those who participated in this great endeavor that forever altered the course of history,” Campbell said.

In preparation, Campbell said they will do a sneak preview of sorts this weekend at the Go Betsy this Saturday at 10 a.m., letting the public see what they are all about before their official event the following weekend.

“This is centered around community involvement,” he said.

Barring one specific lecture at 11 a.m., none of the displays will be time-sensitive, so participants can come up at any point between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. that weekend to see what the community has to offer.

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